Digital Addiction Is A Risk For Our Youth

Youth And Cell Phones

If you have a pre-teen or teen in the house you are either still being nagged to provide them with a cell phone or have already done so. Some youth as young as eight years old have cell phones while some teenagers still do not. Are they really necessary? Should our youth be allowed to carry around cell phones that can potentially get them in big trouble? The pro’s and con’s of youth having cell phones and access have been debated with the arguments going something like this:

Those who are pro cell phone use for youth usually argue that it would help in case of emergencies where the child is lost, hurt or in danger. Those against cell phone use in youth say that it’s dangerous to their privacy, safety (with photos and videos) and can put them at risk of bullying. Furthermore access to social media on smart phones can be another dangerous way that youth are exposing themselves or expressing themselves in potentially embarrassing or reputation tarnishing ways.

Another Risk Of Digital Use

Aside from the battle over cell phone use amongst youth there’s also the possibility that these children are becoming addicted to the technology they’re using. Dr. Martin Krank is a professor from The University of British Columbia who says people can become obsessed. “It’s so immediate and so available that we can use it whenever we want,” said Krank. “People can use Facebook to keep in contact with friends and family – great. People can use Facebook to substitute for a real social life – problematic. “They can interact in a much safer way through Facebook and the Internet,” said Krank, adding, “they avoid dealing with the real problem.” There are many examples of process addiction: gambling, Internet use, video games, love, sex, exercise, work and even compulsive spending. “It’s a set of potentially pathological behaviours that expose people to mood-altering behaviours and dependence,” said Krank.

And this is all true. We all know someone who seems to always be online even though they have a full time job and other commitments that would contradict their large amounts of Internet use. Besides that, they might be completely different in their “real” life versus their online persona. Some have created such a strong bond with their online persona that they find it hard to cope with the life they have once they’ve logged off. Internet addiction seems to mirror the idea of gambling addiction being that of control versus risk. People want some sense of control in their lives and the fantasy of the Internet does just that.

If you or someone you know is need of digital addiction treatment please give us a call at 1-855-441-2449.

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